Lee Business School leadership with Anjala Krishen and Marylin Larson

From left to right: Kim Nehls, Interim Assistant Dean for External Relations; Anjala Krishen, Professor, Mel Larson Endowed Chair of Marketing and Department Chair; Marilyn Larson, John Osborn, former Assistant Dean for External Relations, and Gerry Sanders, Dean of Lee Business School.

Jun. 15, 2022

Dr. Anjala Krishen announced as the first Larson Endowed Chair in Marketing


LAS VEGAS — Marilyn Larson pledged $2,500,000 to establish the Mel Larson Endowed Chair in Marketing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) Lee Business School, in honor of her late husband, Las Vegas marketing pioneer, Mel Larson. The endowment allows the Lee Business School to recruit, retain, and recognize faculty for their work in research, teaching, and service at UNLV in perpetuity. The inaugural Mel Larson Chair is Dr. Anjala Krishen, Department Chair and Professor of Marketing.

“Dr. Krishen is the perfect marketing leader to serve as the inaugural endowed chair, as she upholds the vision and goals of the Larson family to attract and retain talented and innovative faculty. We are fortunate to have Anjala here at Lee Business School,” said Dr. Kim Nehls, Assistant Dean for External Relations. Kim continued, “I am very appreciative of Marilyn Larson and her continuing support of faculty as a way of honoring her husband, Mel. The Larson family left an indelible mark on Las Vegas, and now that continues to our UNLV campus.” 

About Mel Larson
Marketing pioneer, racing aficionado, Air Force veteran, and pilot Mel Larson was well respected for his marketing expertise demonstrated as executive vice president of Circus Circus properties for more than 20 years. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Kurt Busch said, "Mel Larson helped build up the Legend Car community around here (Las Vegas), and Kyle and I are beneficiaries of that." Mel piloted his helicopter to the top of the original MGM Grand when it was on fire in 1980 to rescue people and fly them to safety.

His devoted wife, Marilyn Larson, wishes to honor his memory in perpetuity while providing the Mel Larson Chair in Marketing with the funds to be able to innovate in the classroom in the discipline of marketing, promote the Lee Business School by presenting cutting edge research at national and international conferences, and inspire and encourage students in marketing. 

Marilyn and Mel met while Mel was serving in the U.S. Air Force, which sent him to Luke Air Force Base. Since she retired from Arizona Public Service Company in Phoenix, Marilyn has served on the UMC Auxiliary Board and on the Animal Foundation Board of Directors and its Emeritus Board.

About Anjala Krishen
Dr. Anjala Krishen serves as Professor and Department Chair of Marketing and International Business for the Lee Business School. Previously, she served as the Director of the MBA program for the college and successfully navigated the MBA program's transition online and into a hybrid format during the pandemic. Anjala holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rice University and three graduate degrees, including an M.S. in Marketing, MBA, and Ph.D. in Marketing from Virginia Tech. She held full-time corporate positions for 13-years before pursuing a doctorate.

To date, Anjala has 77 published journal papers. Her research spans three sub-disciplines of consumer behavior: (1) advertising and retailing, (2) interactive, e-marketing and information processing, and (3) marketing pedagogy. Fifty-seven of these publications have come post-tenure; 28 are A- level or above, four are in high-quality hospitality journals, two are in high-quality policy journals, and six are in pedagogical journals. Serving as a strong research mentor, she has published more than 20 journal papers co-authored with current or former UNLV graduate students and more than fifteen journal papers with junior faculty.

Anjala has received both research and teaching awards, including the UNLV Foundation Distinguished Teaching award (2015), the Barrick Scholar Award (2016), the Harold and Muriel Berkman Research Grant Award (2016), the UNLV Alumni Association Outstanding Faculty Recipient (2019), and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award (2022). In early 2016, she gave a TEDx talk at UNR entitled, “Opposition: The light outside of the dark box,” which discusses the important role that opposition plays in our lives. Later in 2016, she gave a UNLV Creates speech based on her pedagogical research entitled, “Consuming to Creating, Watching to Doing, Seeing to Being.” In 2019, she co-edited the book, Marketing & Humanity: Discourses in the Real World, in which she co-authored five chapters. As of 2022, she has completed over 70 marathons, seven ultramarathons, seven 100(+) milers, and holds a black belt in Taekwondo.